Eleanor of Aquitaine lived in a remarkable age. The 12th century saw significant advances in both the intellectual and emotional spheres. Scholars explored new areas of philosophy and science and also began to reflect on relationships and what it meant to be human and an individual. For the troubadours and the writers of the new romances, who composed in vemacular language, the focus of their works was the expression of personal feelings and the image of the feminine. Women had enjoyed a significant role in society during the first millennium, but now, because of the militarization of Europe and the emergence of universities, from which women were excluded, they lost much of their influence. This created an imbalance in society and it is within this context that Eleanor's life should be reviewed. Accounts of Eleanor of Aquitaine's life provide a rare glimpse into women's lives during the medieval period, and though an admittedly extraordinary figure, we are able to draw some general conclusions about marriage and motherhood. Troubadours and courtly love, which revolved around declarations of service, devotion, and passion, expressed an emerging sense of the self. Thematic chapters address the major topics, laying them out in clear and easy-to-follow writing. Nineteen biographical sketches bring to life the topics, and 15 primary documents, including songs, letters, and poems provide a close-up glimpse of how the people of the time saw their own world. Genealogical tables, maps, chronology, and a timeline provide useful and information quickly. The book concludes with an annotated bibliography and an index.